Day 36 (2p16.3-2p16.1): RTN4, saying No-go to nerves

Detail of Carswell’s drawing of MS lesions in the brain stem and spinal cord (1838)


Day 36 has only 24 protein-coding genes. One of them isĀ RTN4 (reticulon 4), also known as Nogo.

During development, growing nerves need help knowing exactly where to branch and connect. They hear a cocktail of chemical signals from the body – some of them saying grow in a certain direction, and some of them staying stop. Nogo is one of the stop signals. It is also thought to be one of the reasons that nerves don’t regenerate after injury. Nogo levels also seem to be associated with plasticity (learning and rewiring) in the brain, and Nogo may be one of the links between exercise and improved mental function.

Click here to see your RTN4 gene that makes Nogo, on Day 36.


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